BUFFALO, NY – Senior Cierra Dillard scored 18 of her game-high 25 points in the second half as the Bulls rolled to an 84-66 win at Big 4 rival Canisius on Tuesday night. The Bulls scored 33 points in the third quarter as they improve to 6-1 on the season.
Canisius led after one quarter as the host Griffs hit seven of their first 10 shots, but the Bulls responded in the second quarter by outscoring Canisius, 18-12. The Griffs held Dillard scoreless in the second, but UB got a boost from sophomore point guard Hanna Hall, who set a new career high with 16 points, including 14 of those in the first half.
Canisius led the Bulls 30-29 with 2:17 left in the second quarter when the Bulls went on a game-changing 20-0 run over the remaining moments of the second and into the third. Canisius turned the ball over six straight times to open the third quarter before they even got a shot off, helping the Bulls extend their lead. The exclamation point of the run came with 8:04 remaining when Hall found Dillard, who hit a long three and got fouled, completing the four-point play.
UB went on another 8-0 run, including six points from Theresa Onwuka to go up 57-32 and Buffalo went on to take a 68-49 lead through three quarters. In addition to scoring the ball, Dillard did an excellent job finding her teammates, as she had a season-high 10 assists for her first double-double of the year. The 10th assist came on a baseline jumper from Ayoleka Sodade with 7:06 left, giving UB a 75-52 lead, which gave Dillard the rest of the evening off.
A Sodade three-pointer extended the Buffalo lead back to 20 points with 4:37 remaining and the Bulls would go on to win by 18.
Dillard, who entered the night leading the nation in scoring, had over 20 points for the seventh straight game. In addition to her 25 points and 10 assists, Dillard also had six steals and three boards.
Hall finished with 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including a pair of three pointers. Senior Brittany Morrison finished the night with 12 points and four steals, while Onwuka had 10 points.
Sodade finished with seven points off the bench, while Autumn Jones added six points.
The Bulls racked up 21 steals on the night as they forced Canisius into 32 turnovers on the evening.
Buffalo had an excellent night at the free throw line, going 22-for-23 from the charity stripe. Dillard was 8-of-9 from the line, while Onwuka hit all six of her free throws and Hall finished a perfect 4-of-4.
The Bull continue their long road trip on Friday afternoon when they head to Dayton. The game will tip off at 2:00 and it will air on ESPN+. You can also listen live on ESPN 1520 with Matt Mattia on the call.